Friday, October 11, 2013

The Changing Dynamics of SEO

The Dynamics of SEO and Digital Marketing are constantly changing. It’s hard to imagine life without the search engines.  As search engines have developed, theyhave given people the power of unlimited knowledge at their fingertips. And with this endless source of knowledge, many things in our lives have changed and will continue to change at a rapid pace.

Search engines have changed how we discover information, no longer do you need to visit your local library and check out a book to learn a new subject matter or point of interest.  But as SEO and digital marketing has evolved, a growing division has grown between those people in marketing who try to stay within Google’s guidelines, and those who try to beat the algorithm. So the search engines reacted by changing their algorithms -- many times. Google wants to reward companies who develop brands and put their customers and the user experience first. They want businesses to create valuable content and earn brand signals (links and social shares). But there are still some people who think that the only way to get to the top of Google is through tricks, schemes, and spam and this is no longer the case.

Check out the infographic below to understand how SEO has evolved and what the new face of SEO looks like.

Here is the link to see the original infographic from

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Outsource Help Desk Support For Your Company

There are several reasons businesses want to keep their help desks in-house. Many companies prefer the idea of having their own employees deal directly with customers, or they also feel more confident having people they believe are trained to be knowledgeable about their products handle incoming phone calls. However, as businesses grow and products reach a wider audience, the benefits of outsourcing help desks become even more important.

Here are five advantages to outsourcing help desks:
  1. Your bottom line — Maintaining your own help desk can come at a staggering cost as your business grows. It is important to keep in mind that companies have to spend money on hiring and training additional employees as well as providing additional equipment.
  2. 24/7 availability — You want your amount of customers to grow, but this can involve an increase in phone calls—many of which might not come in at traditional business hours. Outsourcing your helpdesk not only avoids customer complaints about help not being available late at night or on the weekends, it actually lets you customers feel as though you are there whenever they need assistance.
  3. Keep your employees focused on your business — Smaller or medium-sized companies might be forced to have whatever employee is available answering phones to deal with customers. This risks poor customer service as individuals may not get the help they need or phone calls can feel rushed, and productivity can also be drastically impacted when employees are spending more time answering phone calls than concentrating on primary duties.
  4. Global support — Another very important concern that cannot be overlooked is the distinct possibility that not all of your customers speak the same language. Unless your in-house helpdesk is particularly fluent in all of the possible languages, outsourcing better insures your representatives can comfortably speak to all of your customers.
  5. More forms of support — While most people might prefer to make phone calls, it is not the only method of contact that you want your helpdesk to provide. Outsourced helpdesks can also immediately respond to the aforementioned emails, but live chat options are becoming increasingly popular for all sorts of businesses.
If you decide to outsource your company's help desk, you will find that there are plenty of options available to you. Picking the right one can be tremendously important because of the financial investment, but here are five things you need to consider before signing any contract:
  1. Know how many calls your business receives every day, week or month — Simply put, having an understanding of your minimum, maximum and average number of calls will make sure you know which type of contract is going to be the best for you.
  2. Identify your objectives — It is important to have the technologies and issues that are most important to you at the forefront to ensure that they are properly tended to.
  3. Choose a vendor that understands your specific needs — Make sure that your concerns are being honored in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). If a contractor is unwilling to modify or deviate from an SLA, that is likely a sign that there will be other problems later on.
  4. Avoid per-ticket, per-incident agreements — These types of agreements can initially appear very cheap, but you need to keep in mind that this actually gives a provider more reason to create additional tickets than answer customer service issues in one phone call.
  5. Avoid large termination fees — While you might have to sign a contract that commits you to a vendor for several years, it is important to look for an outsourcing provider that will not stick you with an outrageous early fee for opting out early—even when their services are lackluster.
Certain costs of doing business cannot be avoided, but outsourcing helpdesks can often be solid investments for the companies that recognize the money that is required to maintain an in-house helpdesk. There are several unseen expenses that can be incurred by maintaining your own helpdesk, and sometime the biggest costs of all could be the loss of customers.

This article was written by Jeff Shjarback.  To learn more about Jeff, you can visit his Google Author Profile

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Inbound Internet Marketing Funnel

This infographic below from paints a great picture of how to route your inbound internet marketing map and shows how you should get clients through the funnel if executed properly.  Inbound Marketing is becoming much stronger sales and marketing strategy because it is more cost effective, valuable to consumers and the ROI can be more easily tracked and measured with each campaign.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

How to Apply the Principles of Engineering to Life

Just as tried and true principles of engineering are used in the process of designing new structures that make the world a better place, they can also be used to make one's life better. With a little out-of-the-box thinking, these can be applied to everything from weight loss to solving problems in business or a relationship. Here's an example of the principles applied to weight loss:

Define the end goal

Just like in an engineering project, a specific goal and an end date should be set. In this situation, a person wants to lose 100 pounds in a year so they need to lose a little more than 8 pounds a month.

Seek to find the causes and the solution

Here, the problem needs to be discovered and solved. This person needs to find out what is causing them to stay overweight. Poor eating habits, a lack of exercise, too little sleep and too much stress might all be part of the cause. Solutions might be: stop buying junk food (easier said than done) and drink only water as a way to improve their eating, add in a daily 30 minute walk to meet their physical activity needs, take a warm shower and go to bed before 10 pm to combat the stress and lack of sleep.

Optimize time and space

Optimization is necessary to make it easier to meet the stated goals. To save time, the person in this example might lace up their walking shoes, put on some upbeat tunes and walk to the supermarket to stock up on fresh fruits, veggies and meat for the week. This kills three birds with one stone: they are getting exercise, they are taking time out from the stresses of life and they are doing something to make it easier to stick to a healthier diet. Once home, they can spend an hour washing, chopping and portioning out food so that they'll need to spend less time on meal prep during the week and have the time to get in more exercise, relaxation and sleep.

Use real data, not assumptions

It's essential to record the person's weight and measurements in order to document the results. It's not enough for them to say that their sweatpants fit better; real, concrete evidence must be used in order to track and measure progress.

Analyze feedback

Just as a project gets tested along the way, and feedback used to make changes or additions, the results that come from making life changes need to be analyzed too. If after two weeks, the person is down six pounds and four inches, things are going well. But if they've only lost one pound and half an inch, changes must be made following an evaluation.

Anyone, engineer or not, can use these basic principles when they want to make changes in their life.

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